Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve 2013

I don't know about everyone else, I'm real ready for 2013 to be over!

I've enjoyed my stay in the South so much.  Too bad I have to get back to the real world and leave all this beauty behind.

An example:  Sunday morning a fog had settled down over the bayou.  It was so quiet and peaceful.  A couple of fish splashing and a few birds chirping - no traffic sounds, people sounds, sirens.  I could get used to this real quickly!

Needing to head to the market to get fixings for New Year's Day.  I guess I need to coordinate that with my sister-in-law.  I'm looking forward to the traditional fare tomorrow of black-eyed peas and cabbage.  For health and wealth.  Could use both of those in 2014!

I won't post again until I get home but just wanted to remind everyone of what Mom always said ....

.... Whatever you do on New Year's Day, you do for the rest of the year!

Don't forget to take some stitches!

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Joyeux Noel!

I'm through with Christmas quilting, but I still have lots to do before I leave town.  I'm hacking away at the list a little each day.

Tonight's task was getting Penny a new bed to take to the kennel when she's boarded and a bag of dog food that I can leave there with them.  It's almost like getting a child ready to stay with grandma for two weeks!  At least I don't have to pack bottles!

I'm pretty stoked about getting way.  I know I was just home in June, but it's been a long six months.  I look forward to just relaxing and sewing.  A sewing machine was shipped there, so I plan on working on clamshells every night.

I probably won't post again this year unless I can figure out how to post pictures from my laptop.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!  We've all been very good this year, so I'm sure Santa will be dropping down everyone's chimney!  He came early to the Quilting Condo!!

Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Clams and Things

I worked a little each night this week on clamshells.  I have over 200 in the works.  The picture shows various stages of progress from pinning to trimming, then turning/pressing, and two sewn together to see what they will look like.  It's going to be a long process, but I'm really enjoying the mindless sewing.

There's a foot for the Bernina that I might explore getting.  It has a non-stick sole, which I think might make it move more smoothly over this fabric and serving on a curve.  If anyone has used this type of foot, I'd love to hear your experience.  Those darn feet are expensive!!

I went to Upland Sew yesterday in the downtown area.  It was cold and pouring rain.  When I turned to get to the downtown area, all of the streets were blocked off for the Christmas parade!  I'll tell you, the rain didn't deter anyone from going to the parade.  I luckily found a spot to park just a block away and, amazingly, had an umbrella in the car.  It sure was fun walking to the store and seeing the parade, catching candy, and singing along with the Christmas carolers.  Darn if it didn't put me in the Christmas mood!

There's one more project to work on before my Christmas holiday begins.  I'm having my cup of coffee, and then I'm going to jump right in feet first and see what I can get accomplished today. 

It was 32 at 3:30 this morning. Now it's 40 with an expected high of 53.  I hope all of Penny's walks today are as short as the one at 3:30!  She doesn't like being cold.  She's such a weenie!!  (And so is her Mommy!)

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Well, I Did It

I committed to a new project.  I took it out, gathered up everything I'd need to do it, and dove it this morning.

I said I wasn't going to tell until I figured out if I could do it.  I can, and I will now tell.

Clamshells - a Moda kit from Collection for a Cause by Howard Marcus.

The first antique quilt I fell in love with was a clamshell.  I didn't figure I'd ever be able to make it.  Just cutting with all those clamshells with a template intimidated me to no end, not to mention the handwork involved.

Years and years later, I gasped when I saw the kit at the Fat Quarter Shop.  The clamshells were laser cut, and almost everything I'd need was in that box!  So I ordered it. I sat and looked at it for a couple of weeks, and this morning I decided to dive in and see if it was doable.

The one thing I needed to order to go with the kit was the Pellon lightweight stabilizer.  I couldn't find it around here.  I asked Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop if she could order it for me and she got a bolt of it to me last week.  She is just the most amazing person!  I know sometimes she must think, "What now?!!" when I send her a request, but she always finds what I need.

There's a plastic template that comes in the kit that I used to mark the back of the fabric.  You can see some clams marked on the right side of the picture above.  Then I put a 2.5 x 4 strip of stabilizer on the right side of the clamshell, stitched on the line, and turned it.  That's how easy it is.  You can see the stabilizer sewn on at the bottom of the picture.  I thought I'd sew two of them together to see how that went.  It took me a couple of tries to find "the spot," but that part will be easy, too. 
Once I got set up and going, I did about 25 clamshells in about an hour.  Some of those are in the top left of the photo.  I'm just going to concentrate on making the clams now and not worry about assembling them just yet.  I need to enlarge the quilt a bit but I won't know how much until I can measure the bed that it will end up on.  I'll do that over Christmas.  I'm also thinking about leaving the borders off.  The antique quilt I fell in love with didn't have borders and it was gorgeous.  That decision doesn't need to be made now.
I am so excited about making this quilt, although I think it's more sewing than quilting at this point.  That's okay.   Having it all laser cut took away 90% of the work. 
So that's it!  That's my next big project.  I'm pretty sure this one will be done before I get to The Home!


Thanksgiving Saturday Project

"Coming Home" pattern from the book Simplify by Camille Roskelley.  A charm pack and a half yard of Apron Strings fabric by Moda.  Kona Snow background, three-quarters of a yard.  C'est tout!

This quilt top was quick and fun to make.  I need to dig through the vast amount of books here more often to look for projects!  It's been a long time since I've made a top start to finish in one day.  I need to do this more often.  It's just what the doctor ordered!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lazy Thanksgiving Weekend

Well, it's been lazy so far today, at least for me.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I surely have a lot for which I am thankful!  I cooked -- gasp! -- and have tons of leftovers for the weekend.  Ham, not turkey.  I had to work yesterday until 4:00, and then went to dinner with my late boss' wife.  We had a lovely time.

This morning I got up raring to go.  I had been thinking for days that I was going to finish up a quilt top that needs very little work to get it done.  You know what?  I can't find it.  It was sitting right over there < < and now it's not right over there < < .  I think when the sewing tables were switched out, it was stuck in a tub that's now stacked in the garage.  Since I can't lift on those tubs, that project will just have to season a bit more.  Darn!

I did finish up two bindings.

I save bindings for the days when I am not able to do much else, but both were done on Thanksgiving while the food was cooking.  It was relaxing to sit watching a DVD and stitch.  Now I don't have anything to do!

I am going to try to pin a quilt today for grid stitching.  I say try.  I'm not moving very well as I took a tumble bright and early on Thursday morning.  I have a badly skinned and slightly swollen knee, and a really really sore right shoulder.  I hope I didn't undo anything there.  And to add insult to injury -- or injury to injury -- I wrapped a heating pad around my knee while I was stitching, and managed to burn a quarter size spot on the back of my calf.  I didn't notice it for a couple of hours and then it started burning like heck.  I cleaned it well, debrided it, and now it just has to heal.  I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday so I'll ask him to take a look at it, but I don't think there's anything to do for it at this point.  If I had burned myself cooking that would have been, well, honorable.  I don't think what I did counts as honorable at all!  I'm so dumb sometimes that I amaze myself.

Anyway, I was looking around this morning for something easy to sew that would use up a bit of fabric.  I just recently picked up a charm pack and a few fat quarters at a tag sale going on at Brenda Riddle's Acorn Quilt & Gift Company.  I spent a very pleasant hour or so this morning looking for something to do with them.  I pulled out Simplify by Camille Roskelley.

I'm thinking the "Coming Home" pattern might work.   I'll use Kona Snow or Moda Bella White, whichever looks best with it.  I have a bolt of both in the stash room.  I'll have to get a bit creative with the outer border, but I'll maybe just use the snow/white and do a little simple applique on it using the fat quarters.  We'll see.  I'll sew on the center guts today just to get the Bernina humming a bit.

Did I say I now LOVE the Bernina 750!  I surely have a lot more to learn about her, but I know enough now to make forward stitching progress.  Well, except when I go backwards with the seam ripper like has happened a lot lately ........

It's so quiet here today in the house.  Penny is snoring and the neighborhood is still.  I think everyone may still be in a turkey coma!

Oh, oh, don't forget it's the last day of the Fat Quarter Shop Black Friday Sale! I didn't!  Backing for Nantucket is winging its way to me, as well as new blades for my rotary cutters, and a couple of extra things!  Have fun shopping!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nantucket Done!

I spent all morning unsewing and resewing and unsewing ....

It's done!

It was such a fun, easy quilt to make.  The problems were mine, and I take full responsibility for them!  In my next sewing room, I will definitely have a design wall.  All could have been avoided if I had one.  I see the flash washed out the colors on the bottom there.  I'm certainly not a photographer.  Heck, after making this quilt, I'm beginning to suspect I'm not even a quilter! 

For all the trouble I had, I still love this quilt, the pattern, the fabric, everything.  A huge thanks to Thelma for encouraging me to make it.

I think Penny likes it, too!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Unsewing Again!

I had one more border to put on Nantucket. 


I have to unsew  the last border. 

The computer guy was here fixing a problem with my computer and tethering all the devices, and I was pinning while chatting with him.  Guess I can't do two things at once!

I already have gone back and fixed a couple of like-fabrics-touching on the first border.  Now I unsew again.  You may feel free to call me Rippit!  It's been a long time since I've used the seam ripper this much on a quilt.

My Blackberry finally died after five years, so I picked up a new iPhone last night.  It may be a question of the old dog/new tricks thing, but I'm going to give it the old college try.  Famous last words - I said I wasn't buying any more "i" things!

Sigh ...


Edit:  Turns out I have to take off two borders.  I flipped the second one. 

Sigh ...

Monday, November 18, 2013

One Nantucket Border

This is all I accomplished yesterday.  Errands and delivery of Dr. Seuss to the quilter took up most of the day.

I'm going to try to get this quilt finished next weekend and so I can get to one other thing I'd like to get done before Christmas.

Hope everyone in the path of the storms yesterday are safe.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dr. Seuss Done

Excuse the very bad picture.  I got up at 3:00 a.m. this morning to get the borders on this thing.

I'm SO done with Dr. Seuss after making two of them!  Don't get me wrong - it's cute fabric and all, but I'm just ready for something calmer!

I'm going to get the backing done and then get moving.  I have a couple of errands to run and I want to get back home early enough to get back to the reds and whites of Nantucket.

All of the nine patches are squared and I'm ready to start over sewing them to the plain squares.  I will *never* again make the mistake of continuing to sew when the sewing machine is acting up -- well, let me correct that -- when I don't know how to use a new machine.  Sheesh ...

I have a project that I'm itching to start but I need to study it a bit and maybe make a block or two before I announce out loud what I'm doing.  I would hate to have to admit defeat to everyone!   :)

Friday, November 15, 2013


I started pinning the Nantucket nine patches to the plain squares, and there was a huge problem.

They were oversized on ONE side of the nine patch.  What?!!

How in the heck did that happen?

Oh, yeah, new machine...........

Remember when I was having such a hard time the first day I sewed on it?  That was a couple of Saturdays ago.  Well, I figured it out.

Thread was breaking.  Stitches were skipping.  I was poking buttons (I'm VERY good at that) trying to figure out what was wrong.  I must have moved my needle to the left at some point during all that poking.  About a third of them need to be trimmed - on ONE side. 

I've just gotten to the point in the stack that they're the right size.  Those were probably made after I got back from the sewing machine place and had figured out what was wrong.  I cleared the settings and turned off the machine so I could check the bobbin.  Everything corrected itself.

At first I thought I'd have to remake all the nine patches, but they're okay once they're trimmed.  The center square is, well, centered.

Sheesh ...... so much for that extra hour I had this morning to sew!

And note to self:  Clean your rotary cutter!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nantucket Progress

I sewed a bit this weekend, but spent most of it running back and forth to the hospital for testing, testing, testing.  Honestly, I feel like a pin cushion.  At least I got the big stars together, and all of the other components are made.  I'm assembling those now, but probably won't get to sew much this week.

The scrappiness still bothers me, but not so much now that the stars are sewn together.  Oh, well, I'm committed at this point so I'll keep going.  The quilts that I fret over while I'm making them end up being my favorite ones.

I feel like the weekend was wasted.  I need a day to recuperate but it's off to work tomorrow.  However, I did find out that the freeways are just as crowded on Saturday and Sunday as they are during the week!

I'm sure I'll be caboose on this project as everyone else seems to be making great progress.  I can't wait to see everyone's version of Nantucket!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


A little perspective that made me laugh out loud.  A Temecula Quilt Co. star sitting on top of a Nantucket star.

Samson and Goliath!

I'm just grabbing fabric and sewing together for the big star.  Man, I can't do scrappy, even when it's all from the same line.

Maybe I should plan them a bit better, huh?  It looks like the top points are chopped off, but that's just poor photography on my part. 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Nine Patches

In fact, 90 nine patches.

Since I was still in the Midwinter Reds mood after my failed attempt with this machine yesterday, I decided to go ahead, on Thelma's suggestion, and start the Nantucket pattern by Minick & Simpson.

Everyone knows Minick & Simpson is one of my favorite fabric and pattern designers.  Both of them.  Minick AND Simpson! 

Just wanted to make that perfectly clear!

Anyway, I was happy as a pig in mud (need to quit saying that) last night and today playing with this fabric!

About the 750, I went to the Upland Sew yesterday to pick up the table insert.  I took a sample of the problems I was having.  Rosalie was so sweet to sit down with me for an hour to go over a few things.  One problem is I had hooked an extra thingy when I threaded the machine.  We went over the bobbin winding and insertion, and I had done that correctly.  This probably sounds silly since I was using a 440 for seven or eight years, but I didn't know how to use the needle threader.  (The first time I tried to use it on the 440, the blasted thing fell off and it never was important enough for me to address.)

Now I need to cut more fabric to continue on with this pattern.  I was so anxious to sew yesterday that I only cut what I needed for the 9Ps. 

Yes, my back and neck are hurting, but sometimes you have to pay to play!

Penny ..... when I got her I wasn't sewing much.  She just doesn't know how to act or what to do when I'm at the machine, and I was getting really tired really fast of her whining.

I thought back to how good Daisy was when I was sewing.  Then I remembered that I had a bed for her in the corner between the cutting table and the machine.  So I took an old bed and put it back there with her favorite quilt right out of the dryer.  She hopped in there and stayed until it was time to chase the sunbeams up the staircase.  Problem solved!  I guess I need to get her a new bed since that one is about worn out!  And get her a new favorite quilt that I don't like as much as that one!  LOL.

Two happy puppies here today at LA Quilter!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Itty Bitty Block

Well, it was the case of the Itty Bitty Block versus the humongous 750.

The 750 won!

Note to self:  Do not ever try to make a block this small for the first venture on a new machine!

Okay, I'm sure it was operator error.  In fact, I'm positive it was operator error.  Absolutely positive.

First, I figured I didn't need to use the dual feed.  Never have owned a machine with dual feed.  Don't need it now.


The machine was eating up the block, chewing it to pieces.  So I lowered the dual feed.  That baby fed right on through like it had good sense.  That problem solved.

Then I decided I didn't need the knee lift.  (The knee lift was misplaced by the maids, and I located it at 2:00 this morning tucked away in the hall closet.)  But after all that searching, I didn't need to use it.

The 750 doesn't have a presser foot lift lever on the back of the machine like every other machine that exists in the world.  Well, there may be other machines out there without a lift lever but I'm sticking with that statement.  I was getting whiplash and carpel tunnel and high cholesterol reaching 171 times for a lever that's not there.  There's a button on the front of the machine to lift the foot.  I could not make myself hit that button, or I'd hit the wrong button.  I think I accidentally automatically cut my thread about 169 of those 171 tries.  That button makes the presser foot go all the way up or all the way down.  There's no in between.  You know how sometimes you just need to lift it a touch to straighten your block or whatever.  Couldn't do it.

I wondered if it would work better with the knee lift.

Yep.  That problem solved.

One hour.  One itty bitty block.  One awful looking itty bitty block.

This is a block for Temecula Quilt Company's Countdown to Christmas project.  I still want to make this quilt, but I need to wait until I'm more familiar with the new machine before trying again.  I'm really glad I decided to just cut fabric for one star out of this gorgeous Midwinter Reds by Minick & Simpson.  I'll just tuck away the layer cake for now and pull out a bigger project to work on.

But I still have Midwinter Reds on my brain.  Hmmmm...........

Saturday, October 26, 2013


New table is in! 

New Bernina is installed!

This old dog is one tired puppy!

The acrylic insert isn't in yet, probably next week, so I just put the extension on that came with the machine and lowered the machine until it was nearly flush with the table.  It will definitely work for now.

The table is really nice.  It's much like the other Horn table, but there are some nice features added.

It has an electric lift for the machine.  Nice.

It has a storage place underneath for the extension in the bottom photo.  Nice.

It came with a built-in electrical strip.  Nice.

The table has the Bernina logo on it even though it came from Horn.  I asked.  Apparently Bernina and Horn joint ventured on designing a table that would bear the weight of the bigger Berninas.  Nice.

I wanted so badly to keep the other table, but with storage at a premium here, I decided it had to go.  There's a Mennonite Thrift Shop two or three blocks from the house that was delighted to get it.  I think it will sell quickly for them.  In fact, before we left, there were a gaggle of ladies around the table looking at it.  I've never been over there before.  It was crowded with shoppers.  I'll have to check them out later.  An antique mirror caught my eye, and I was told they do get antique furniture on a fairly regular basis.

No, no, Vicky.  No more stuff in the Quilting Condo!!  None!!   

I need to rest for a bit, and then start unpacking everything that I boxed up.  I'm going to cull and toss a lot of stuff.  A woman on a mission!

Judging from the number of exclamation points in this post, I'd say I'm a happy camper right about now!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

What a Mess!

Good news, the new sewing table has arrived.

Bad news, I have to hire someone to pick it up and deliver it to the house, and help me move the old one out.  And put where?  I kind of wanted to keep it for when I get in the new studio.  I had visions of having two sewing stations so a friend could come over and sew.  In the meantime, though, I'll have to deal with another table.  The way I'm feeling now, I might just call Goodwill to come and get it.  What a mess!

Honestly, I wish I had never gotten that new Bernina.  It's caused more hassle than is good for me.

I should have just gone back to bed this morning, or sewed, instead of trying to box stuff up in and on my sewing table.  Now I can't walk in there.

So I stopped that project and decided to make gumbo.  I'm not even good for that any more because I just overflowed the pot on the stove.  What a mess to clean up!

And Penny has been dragging leaves off of the patio into the house all day.  The maids were here yesterday, and I already need to vacuum again.  Pushing around a vacuum is not on the neurosurgeon's list of things I can do just yet.

Do you feel sorry for me yet?

I do!

I'm a mess!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekend Sewing

I finished the bindings on both of the Celebration for Girls quilts yesterday afternoon.  They'll be delivered tomorrow after work.  Check!

Then for some reason last night I was wide awake at midnight.  My back, amazingly enough, wasn't hurting, probably from all the ibuprofen I took during the day for my headache.  Anyway, I headed downstairs to the sewing room.

Nothing like a little Green Eggs and Ham at that time of the morning.  I finished framing the blocks and sewed together the guts of the quilt.  I need to add two borders and it's done.  I want to get this finished up this week so it can go off to the quilter.  I am SO done with Dr. Seuss fabric!! 

I probably should get the borders on today, but I need a break from those colors!  I have a fall/Halloween colored quilt that's tugging at my heartstrings right now, so I'll do some cutting on that and see if I can't get in a little sewing on it, too. 

I need new movies.  I had the portable DVD player on my sewing table going last night, but I've seen everything I have at least twice.  Might have to stop over at Target tomorrow night to check out their selection.

I'm wanting gumbo so badly today.  I talked to my brother this week and that's what they were having.  Too bad I don't have all the fixings here.  Sheesh, I'm going to lose my Southern girl certificate for not having those ingredients on hand at all times!

I'm homesick.  Can you tell?

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Haunted Computer

Ever since the server came back on last night, strange things have been happening.  Some files are missing, desktop images are gone ..... I don't know.  I was able to log on to Blogger this morning after quite a bit of fussing with it.  I'll call my computer guys today and see if someone can come out Saturday.  The cable box on the TV in the living room is out, too.  At least the one in my bedroom is still on.  I hardly ever turn TVs on, but I want them to work when I do.  Everything in this house is going to pot - including me! 

Anyway, here are the two stupid pictures I wanted to post last night.  Nothing amazing but progress is being made in the sewing room.

Hand stitching the bindings, then these are done!

And the Apple Jelly Jam from the Jelly Jam pattern at Fat Quarter Shop.  Those of you who have made it, don't look too closely!  I managed to flip a couple of the pieces but it's still cute and bright and cheerful.

After making this 36 x 36 quilt, I've decided that all the baby quilts I make from now on are going to be this size.  Whenever I talk to an expectant mother about quilts, they always give me color combinations of their nursery that, frankly, puzzle me.  I've fretted more times over finding fabric that might match their scheme.  From now on I'm going to make what I'm going to term "travel quilts."  These can be used in the car or stroller, and it doesn't matter what color they are.  And I think this is the perfect size for that use.

If you click on these pictures and they're gigantic, sorry.  Picasa won't let me sign in this morning, either, to size them.  So to paraphrase that much over-used phrase, they are what they are.

I have to go visit my friends at the hospital this morning for blood work.  It's bad when I walk in this gigantic facility and everyone knows me.  Means I've been there way too often!  Hey, maybe I can get my own reserved parking space!  :)

Monday, October 07, 2013


I don't know what's wrong with me and Blogger.  It won't let me sign in from my desktop computer and that's where all my pictures are that I want to post.

When I try to sign in, it redirects (to where I don't know) and just sits there spinning.

I'm done.  I'm sick of fighting this every time I want to download pictures.

I'll be back if I can ever get anyone out here to fix whatever is wrong.

No Internet

Why does that always happen to me on weekends?  I guess I can blame it on the Santa Ana winds.  Sounds good, huh?

I picked up the two Celebration for Girls quilts from the quilter, the bindings sewn on, and will hand stitch them down this week.  Also the binding sewn on Raspberry Truffle, the pink and brown quilt. 

AND I did the Jelly Jam quilt out of the Apple Jack fabric.  Such a quick and easy pattern.  Of course, I managed to flip around a couple of blocks but it still came out cute.  I could have done the whole thing in under two hours if my 440 had cooperated.  I need to take it in to be serviced since I'm resigned to using it instead of the new Bernina.

So a productive weekend.  You'll just have to take my word for it!  Picture will be posted when I'm up and running again!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Apple Jelly Jam

I couldn't resist the Jelly Roll Jam pattern that Kimberly at the Fat Quarter shop introduced to us in the video on the FQS YouTube Channel

And I couldn't resist the sale at the FQS last week to pick up an Apple Jack jelly roll for this pattern.  This quilt just begs to be called Apple Jelly Jam!  Also got a small amount of yellow backing and red binding.  It sure was a happy box to open!

It'll make a nice travel quilt for a little boy who is now three months old, something to put over him in the car seat or the stroller.

The two Celebrations for Girls went to the quilter today, and I should have those back in the next couple of weeks.  I have such a hard time making a decision on the pantos and the thread.  I'm glad someone offered their suggestions, which I gladly took!  Because of the left-over boy Celebration in the charm packs, I ordered enough to make a boy's quilt from this pattern.  I'll just have it on stand-by in case it's needed.

I've had a lazy weekend with lots of rest for my aching back, but a broken heart over LSU's loss to Georgia.  (sigh)  Two doctor appointments next week but I don't expect anything new from those since my insurance company hasn't approved the new tests that were ordered.  Hmmm, maybe I can just cancel the appointments until later!  :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Celebration #1

It took me three hours to completely make #1, and the second one just needs the final borders sewn on.  My back is screaming at me to take a break!

I'm going to stretch out a bit and then add the last borders on #2.

This was fun to make!  It's definitely my go-to baby quilt pattern now when I need a quick and easy one!

Celebration for Girls by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs.

Marmalade Flower

This adorable table runner, Marmalade Flower, was recently included in "Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks," Collector's Edition, Vol. 7, as the Fat Quarter Shop's contribution to the magazine.

It measures 21 x 49" and took me about thirty minutes to cut and two hours to make!

I think it will be adorable on an Easter table perhaps with a ceramic bunny and some spring flowers.

You can find the magazine here.  It would be so cute made up in Christmas, patriotic or Halloween fabrics, too.  I want to do another one but haven't yet decided on the theme.

Don't you just love those quick and easy projects?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Celebration Winner

Sorry I'm so late tonight announcing the winner of the Celebration pattern by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs.  I didn't leave the doctor's office until 6:30 and then got stuck in SoCal traffic.

I did a random number draw tonight and the winner of the Celebration pattern is .....

Cindy from NC who said,

"I make baby quilts all the time because I donate them to Newborns in Need. A couple times a year I need one for a gift. Today I was at a baby shower. Both parents are UNC grads, so I used UNC fabric for the border and backing. Although I've made this pattern literally hundreds of times, I kept making mistakes on the border and had to rip and recur that expensive collegiate fabric three times!"

Cindy, you're an anonymous commenter, so please email me so we can arrange shipment of the pattern to you.

Thank you to all who left a comment.  There weren't very many of you so your chances were better than usual!  Wish I had more of them to give away!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


It's time for Celebration! 

No, nothing exciting in my life to celebrate, except for a new project using the Celebration pattern by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs.  Well, actually two projects because I'm making two of them!

A friend has two new granddaughters, the most adorable little girls I've ever seen.  They were born a week apart.  I immediately thought of Anne's wonderful lines of fabric for little ones, and settled on this pattern.  Shopping was easy because Anne had already made up Celebration for Girls kits, and will be quick to sew up.  They will be identical but with different backings. 

There are also Celebration kits for boys!  Probably should grab one of these, too, just to have on hand since there seems to be an abundance of new babies lately!

Even though Anne offered to remove one of the patterns, I wanted it to pass along in a give-away.  If you would like to win a Celebration pattern, please leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.  All you have to do is tell us how often you have to make a baby quilt, and whether you make more for girls or boys!  (I'm about 50/50 at this point!)

The drawing will be held on Thursday, 9/19/13, when I get home.  I'll be late because I have a 5:30 doctor's appointment that day.  Be sure your comment has contact information.

I'm off to start cutting!  I'm really excited about these fun quilts! 

Good luck!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Guessing Game Winners

I drew the first winner, but everyone knows it's hard for me to stop there.  So I drew a second winner. 

No, Penny wouldn't help.  I woke her up, she plodded over to the little box I had put the slips of paper in, sniffed a couple of times, and then plodded back to her bed.  Considering she kept me awake half the night barking at a dog two streets over who was barking, I guess she's tired!  I heart my dog!

Since I had no help with the draw, I stuck my hand in the box and drew a slip.  The first winner is ....

Darlene of Quilting Daze!  Have you seen that gorgeous postage stamp quilt she made?  I have drooled all over my keyboard for days! 

The second random draw is ....

Brenda of Quilting Along Life's Way.  Love your red and white Schnibbles!  Heck, I love all of your Schnibbles!  I hope you all do the Schnibbles challenge again next year because I want to join in on the fun!

I'd like for each of you to please email me so I make sure I have the correct email address for you.  I'll order up a $50 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop just as soon as I get your emails.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

I have totally fallen in love with the Fat Quarter Shop's YouTube video channel!  What inspiration!  Kimberly, thank you for doing those for us!  They're exceptional!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Guessing Game!

I'm a marketer's dream customer!  I was recently inspired to buy all of these wonderful notions.

To be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop, you need to leave a comment telling me where I got the inspiration!  Please be specific!

One winner will be chosen from all who gave correct answers.  One comment per person, please!

Drawing will be held on Sunday morning when I get up and get a cup of coffee in my system.  Us old folks need that morning jolt to get everything working!

Have fun!  Good luck!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Green Eggs & Ham, Anyone?

It took me two days to cut the Green Eggs & Ham quilt.  I just can't stand for very long.  Panels are interesting to cut apart as they're rarely printed on the straight of grain.  Maybe it's just me! 

I will sit and sew today.  This will be an easy one to assemble.  I'll try to get the guts done today.  I can get borders done next weekend.  We'll see how that goes.

Not much, I know, but it seems a lot compared to what I've been able to do the past eight months.

One of these days I'm going to be a real bona fide quilter again!

Oh, stay tuned.  There just might be a guessing game next week ........ and maybe another small drawing a few days after that.  Penny's pretty mum on the whole subject!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Raspberry Truffle

I'm so excited.  Finally got a UFO quilted!

This is Raspberry Truffle. It was a BOM offered by the Fat Quarter Shop a long time ago - possibly 2009 or 2010.  The pattern was designed by Vicki Bellino of Bloom Creek Quilts.  I don't see this pattern on her site, so it may have been created just for the FQS or it's retired.

This quilt was so much fun to make.  Yes, there is some applique on it, which I needle turned, but it went very quickly.

The quilt was designed to use charm packs.  Seriously!  Just a little bit of yardage here and there, but it was mostly charm packs!

Raspberry Truffle was beautifully quilted by Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt.  The fabric is by Judie Rothermel.

I just need to trim and square, and hopefully get the binding on this weekend.  Well, maybe at least get the machine part of the binding on.  I love to save the hand work for nights when I need to relax after work.

See?  I am getting things accomplished! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Drawing Winner

I couldn't get the random number thing to load this morning, so Penny and I did it the old fashioned way - paper in a bowl.  She pulled a slip out, I chased her around the house to get it from her, and I could still read the winner's name despite the fact that it was half chewed!

BillieBee wins a $50 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop.  Congratulations!  I hope you'll let us all know what you choose with your gift certificate!!  Please email me to confirm your email address so I can order your certificate!

I had a really nice day so far.  I had a hair appointment first thing this morning in downtown Claremont.  That is such an adorable town!  Anyway, I overheard another lady in there talking about quilting to her hairdresser.  She came over after and we chatted a bit about quilting. But the best part, she used to work at the yarn shop that I first inquired about crochet lessons.  I told her I hadn't heard back from the teacher, so she recommended to go to another one just around the corner.  The shop is Phoebe's in the Packing House.  I was there when she opened the door.  I asked about scheduling private crochet lessons and she said, "How about right now?"  Gulp.  I actually panicked for just a moment, but put my game face on and just did it!

Oh, my, the gorgeous yarn in that shop!  Of course, I'm starting out with "beginner's yarn"!  She told me to cast on and do a chain stitch.  I got that mostly right.  We pulled it out and started over.  Then we went over the single crochet and double crochet.  About halfway through she moved me up one size in hook and my stitches were much better, not so tight.  This is definitely a practice piece, but I'm going to go ahead and finish it into a scarf.  I was worn out after 3.5 hours, so we'll get together again soon to go over the triple and decreasing stitch.  What a fun day this was!

I went ahead and picked up two more colors since it was so inexpensive.  That will give me plenty of practice yarn.

Happy birthday to me!!  I was dreading my birthday on Thursday!  I had two MRIs that day, and was feeling a bit blue.  But a couple of very dear friends took me out for a scrumptious dinner that night and all was well in my little world!  Yep, 62 ain't half bad!!  So far!!!

Heading into my sewing room for the rest of the weekend.  Well, I need to stretch out a bit first.  I was fairly relaxed sitting in the yarn shop, but my back was a little kinked because I sat there for so long.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment for the drawing.  We'll have to do this again soon!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I'm Glad THAT's Over!

What a long, stressful week!  I'm glad they only happen a few times out of the 52 each year!

This weekend is going to be spent resting and recuperating -  and doing only fun things!  The only things on the agenda are getting the QuiltMobile washed and my weekly trip to the market. 

Penny has been wanting to snuggle this morning.  I think she misses me being home every day.  We bonded during those four months I was off.  I don't think she understands the equation that work equals Puppy Chow.  Silly dog!

There's going to be a give-away next week.  If you'd like to win a $50 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop, just leave a comment.  You just need to tell us what you expect to be doing on Thursday!  How easy is that!  I hope a lot of you will be expecting to spend time in your studio doing quilty things!  I was going to do the drawing on Thursday, 8/22, when I got home from work, but I have dinner plans.  So I'll do the drawing on Saturday, 8/24, in the late morning.

I received the most unique gift from a very dear friend.

It's a Boye Needle Company store display dispenser.  What a treasure!  The customer would put the dial on the type of needle they wanted and it would turn the inside contraption to that section.  When they'd open the little door, there they were!  I'm going to hang this on the wall in my someday quilting studio.  I have several antique sewing pieces and this will fit in wonderfully!  Thank you so much, my dear friend!  I love it - and you knew I would!

This week I ordered a pattern that I'll probably never make, but it sure does make me happy to look at it.  It's Audubon's Christmas by Kathy McNeil.  My very favorite things are birds and botanicals.  This covers both nicely!  And who knows?  I just might do it!

Another thing I looked into this week is crochet lessons.  I know, I know, I don't need another hobby!  I tried to learn when I was young but I just didn't get it.  I think it had to do with the person teaching me having an opposite dominant hand than I did.  Anyway, I'm supposed to hear back this week about a few private lessons.  This ought to prove interesting.  I was inspired by a lady who was crocheting away in the outpatient waiting room at the hospital this week.  We talked and I found out she's only been crocheting a year and is self-taught.  So I went to Joanne's and bought some cheap yarn and a hook.  I've been having more fun making knots out of this yarn - and laughing out loud at my stitches.  Want to see them?  Just put your coffee cup down before you look!  Otherwise, you'll spew your computer screen! 

The blob on the top was my first attempt.  For some reason (rolls eyes here) it started turning to a little tube that about fits my thumb.  A thumb warmer?  Hey, that could be a new trend!  I knew that wasn't right, so I cut it off and started again.  I decided to get creative on the second attempt.  Lots of knots that sort of accidentally made a design, but it's awful.  I think the best thing is to wait until I can get a lesson before I attempt to murder any more cheap yarn! 

Okay, you can start drinking your coffee again!

Gosh, this is a long post.  Sorry. I need to do this more often so I don't turn a week's worth of adventures into an Edna Ferber novel!

On the health front, a new doctor is in cahoots with my neurosurgeon, and nothing new to report except a lot more testing.  Hey, maybe I'll run into someone else in one of those waiting rooms who knows how to crochet!!

I'm heading over to tackle Brrrrr Park.  Focus!

Don't forget to leave a comment for the drawing!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Falling Down on the Job

A friend emailed me yesterday and wondered if I was still breathing.  Huh?  In further emails, she said she was sure something had happened to me because I haven't been poking any buttons!  LOL.

Well, I've poked a few but not nearly in the quantity that I have in the past.  No special reason except that I've been too worn out and hurting when I get home to think much about fabric.  Oh, gosh, I hope the Fat Quarter Shop hasn't noticed!!!  I'd hate for them to take my name off that plaque in the lobby that must be there!!!!!!

So it was definitely time to open a couple of boxes that arrived over the past few weeks and share them!  I surely don't want to lose my title of Chief Purchasing Officer!  (rolls eyes)

No one could have doubted I'd be poking this button:

Midwinter Reds by Minick & Simpson.  And look at the wovens!  I really think M&S has cornered the market on fabulous wovens.  I love working with them, especially in applique, but I've been known to toss a few into the mix on a lot of other quilts.  Wovens are a bit stretchy, but I've had no problem with them because I always surround the pieces with regular fabric.  Oh, bindings.  I love wovens for bindings!  I am so wanting to do that Nightingale pattern on the left.  It's 90 x 90.  My heart fluttered when I saw it!  The other pattern is Nantucket, another beauty!

The next box contained Josephine by French General. 

I went ahead and threw a Jelly Roll into my cart, too.  I need to look at the French General stash to see if there's yardage there that will work with this.  Since most of the French General fabrics coordinate, I'm sure I'll find tons up there (the stash room) to work nicely.

Next is All Aboard.  I love this quilt.  Just thought I'd stash it away just in case.  I've never been real big on kiddy quilts, but there seems to be a need for them among friends and family now.  The best part is it's an It's Sew Emma pattern.  Gotta love those ISE patterns!

I guess I need to correct something -- that I'm not real big on kiddy quilts.  I love kiddy quilts.  I'm just not a fan of novelty fabrics.  So I love it when I find a pattern that can be made up from "normal fabrics"!!  LOL.

And last but not least ....

Spooktacular  - by Maude Asbury for Blend.  On the couple of Halloween or fall quilts I've made, I had trouble finding a background that worked for me.  So once or twice when I've seen something neat, I've grabbed it.  I really like this fabric, and I know I'm going to wish I had gotten more of it.  It's polka dots, my favorite!  Finding this fabric was a good reminder to myself to check more often the "Odds and Ends" category at Fat Quarter Shop!

So that's it!  Not much but at least I'm still thinking a bit about quilting.

I had three full days of tests run this week to see if they could find out why my white cell count is so high.  The only thing worst than sitting in a chair hurting at work is laying on a hard table for a two-hour nuclear scan.  And being called back to the hospital two times yesterday when I thought I had made a clean get-away.  The last time I left, I turned off my cell phone and ran out the door!

I've been reading blogs and drooling over all the projects going on out there.  I'm real ready to retire so I can get in on some of the group sew-alongs.  Real ready! (sigh)

Saturday, August 03, 2013


I've been feeling really puny this week.  My body is not cooperating with all the things I want to be doing these days.

Long Beach quilt show -- I was supposed to go today, but I'm just not up to being jostled by a lot of people intent on doing what quilters do best at quilt shows.  I hate that because this is the last year of this show.  Maybe tomorrow if I feel better, but I really don't think that's going to happen.

This show has a lot of special meaning for me.  I met Julie of Jaybird Quilts a few years ago.  I met Brenda Riddle there, Sandy Klop, and, of course, Primitive Gatherings.  I met up with a good friend, Lady B, and spent a good while chatting with her, and spent hours upon hours scouring the vendor booths with another friend.  Lots of memories.

So I was feeling really sorry for myself this morning, and thought I needed to dive into some organizational project to keep me busy.  First up, magazines.

The first one I picked up to toss was the December 2008 issue of "American Patchwork & Quilting."  As I released it over the garbage can, the cover caught my eye.  I dug it out immediately and sat down to peruse the magazine.

It's NOT going in the trash.  These three quilts are tugging my heartstrings.

First is "Capture the Canyon" by Julie Hendricksen.  She recreated an antique quilt for us.

Next is "Haute Chocolates" by Homestead Hearth.  Warm chocolates and blues, always a favorite of mine.

The cover that caught my eye is "Fly Away Home" by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts.  I'm sure this is the reason I bought the magazine in 2008.

You know the best part of this?  I've gotten the inspiration I usually get at quilt shows.  I'm not being jostled.  And I have everything to make these already in my stash.

I'd say it's a win/win situation!

Of course, now I probably need to sit down and look at ALL of the magazines before I toss them!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Don't Laugh!!!

So I tried out the Little House Blocks.  Please be kind when you look at the pictures.  I had no clue how to go about doing this.  Oh, and excuse the yellowish pictures.  I took the pictures on my cutting table under a lamp.

First, I got everything stamped.  I pulled some really old Robyn Pandolph fabric from my secret closet.  This is so old that Moda didn't even print the name of the line on the selvege back then.  I cut five inch strips and stamped.  Fabric decision and stamping - one hour.

I stamped each template twice because Jeanneke said you could do it twice from one inking.  I used my rotary cutter to cut apart the itsy bitsy pieces.  Cutting apart the pieces - two minutes.

Then I laid out all the pieces.  I don't remember now if this is the correct lay-out or my first attempt.  There was some switching around that took place.  Lay-out - five minutes.

Okay, how easy is this to sew together?  Right?  I machine sewed all the rectangles, everything below the roof.  I used my regular stitch length which was way too long.  Should have shortened the stitches.  Machine stitching - two minutes.

Anyway, when I got to the roof, I realized, "Houston, we have a problem!"  Yikes.  Those are Y-seams!  And those two pink do-dads up at the tippy top, the chimneys, are only about a half inch.  I gave it the old college try.  Four times!  Nope, it didn't work.  Failed attempt at Y-seams - 30 minutes.

I finally had to admit that I needed to hand piece that roof.  I have never hand pieced anything.  The very first quilt show like four months after I started quilting, I signed up for what I thought was a hand quilting class.  Turns out it was a hand piecing class.  I escaped the room very quickly.  In hindsight, I shoulda stuck around! 

I had no clue - none - on how to proceed.  So I just double threaded a needle with the cotton thread that was on the sewing machine and gave it my best shot.  Hand piecing the roof - 15 minutes.

ROFLOL.  Obviously this is a reject, a learning block, but it's hilarious.  All of my stitches are showing.  Go ahead, enlarge the picture!  I dare you!!  I don't know what kind of stitch to use.  The whole darn house looks like it barely survived a hurricane, but it did come to the right size .... 3.5" unfinished.  Hey, that counts for something, doesn't it?

I do know that ironing the seams down doesn't work when you're hand piecing.  But it was too late because I had already ironed them down.

I'm going to try another one and hand piece the entire thing.  First, though, I need to dig through the tons of quilting books I have to see if any of them will shed light on this subject.  Lots of light!!

Total time wasted -- just under two hours.

Total fun time playing with the block -- just under two hours!!!


I went to Amazon to see if they had books on hand piecing.  The first one on the list was Quiltmaking by Hand, Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts by Jinny Beyer.  I have that one!!

I'm going to fix lunch and READ about hand piecing for the rest of the afternoon!!


Another Update:  I tried again hand piecing the whole block.  It's still horrible.  But at least I put it together correctly.  The one on the left is the first one I did, and it has the door and window reversed.  The one on the right is the second one that I hand pieced.  It must have gone through the same hurricane as the first one.  They were probably next door neighbors.

Obviously this will be a long learning curve for me.  I need to get the Brrrrr Park finished and then I can try a third time.  They say, third time's the charm - but I'm not betting my next paycheck on that!!